Take a deep breath. That one was a bit close for comfort, but Kentucky held on despite a strong second half from Vermont. The Cats struggled on defense in their man-to-man, though they looked much better on offense than they did on Friday against Utah Valley. In the end this is what many expected, as Vermont is one of the best mid-major teams in the country, and Kentucky is anything but experienced against teams like this.
Here’s three things to know.
There’s a point guard carousel right now
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander started against Utah Valley on Friday, but Quade Green started today. Green was the better of the two today, as he had 15 points, four assists and four rebounds, while Alexander had four points, three assists and two rebounds. Green led the team in assists with just four, which isn’t exactly a great sign.
Green was 0-4 from the field against Utah Valley with one assist. He had four points, with all four of them coming from the free throw line. Alexander 13 points and was 5-9 from the field with four assists and four steals against Utah Valley.
PJ Washington stood out
Washington recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, making him the game’s leader in both categories. He’s turning into the best UK needs him to be. He isn’t flashy by any means, but he’s getting the job done on the boards, and his offense is coming along nicely.
The growing pains weren’t as bad as Friday’s
It wasn’t anywhere close to a perfect game. The defense was dismal and the offense wasn’t totally cohesive, as in the second half they went on two-plus minute stretches without scoring any points. But at least Kentucky led for a lot of the game this time and held on for the win against a very good mid-major team in Vermont.
Now, let’s talk about what we just saw.